Stevia Health Benefits: 0 Calorie Sweetener Helps Immunity, Blood Pressure and More

stevia health benefits
Wouldn’t it be great if there were a natural plant-based sweetener with zero calories that actually improved our health?

Many people would prefer to avoid eating a lot of white sugar as it affects everything from weight, to teeth, to immunity, to the health of our organs.

Although in the world of sugar substitutes, many of the options are artificial sweeteners made in the laboratory such as Equal (aspartame), Splenda (sucralose) and SweetNLow (saccharin – which is a coal tar derivative).

A recent study published in a medical journal that writes about metabolism reported that diet soda drinkers suffer with the same health problems as those who opt for regular sugared soda, including weight gain, type 2 diabetes, heart disease and stroke.

At the same time that studies are discovering more and more health problems are from consuming artificial sweeteners, one natural option – the Stevia plant – is collecting positive research outcomes for stevia health benefits. It’s a South American plant from the same family that includes chrysanthemums and sunflowers. Honey is also natural, but it contains very concentrated sugars that can cause cells to store fat.

Stevioside is the natural extract from stevia leaves that gives it its sweetness. Stevia extract can taste 200 to 300 times sweeter than sugar, with one teaspoon equaling a whole cup of sugar. Very small amounts go a long way. One good thing is that Stevia is not absorbed well into the stomach and when it passes through the body, there is no accumulation of it.

The cells of the pancreas receive a healing effect from stevia. A study in the journal “Metabolism” found that stevioside reduced blood sugar levels after meals in type 2 diabetic patients. Regarding high blood pressure, one study in a British medical journal gave participants with high blood pressure stevia capsules for a year. The researchers concluded it is a well tolerated and an effective alternative therapy.

In a test tube study from “Antiviral Research” stevia was shown to be an effective antiviral substance that worked as a blockade to prevent a virus from attaching to other cells. Other stevia health benefits include inhibiting the growth of oral bacteria, which makes it a good ingredient for mouthwashes, toothpastes and bleeding gums.

Stevia is available as fresh or dried leaves, as a powdered extract or as drops. Its health benefits are best realized when the whole plant is used to make the extract. Truvia (made by Coca-Cola) and PureVia (made by PepsiCo) contain only portions of the active ingredients, not the entire plant. So look for stevia or stevioside amounts when purchasing this natural sweetener.

This news is brought to you by Nutrition Breakthroughs, providing natural health articles and effective natural remedies since 2002.  Learn more about the Sleep Minerals II and Joints and More products made by Nutrition Breakthroughs.

What health benefits does stevia have?

In a test tube study from the journal “Antiviral Research”, stevia was shown to be an effective antiviral substance that worked as a blockade to prevent a virus from attaching to other cells. The cells of the pancreas receive a healing effect from stevia. A study in the journal “Metabolism” found that stevioside reduced blood sugar levels after meals in type 2 diabetic patients.

Is stevia good for you or bad for you?

Stevia is a natural, plant-based sweetener that may actually be good for our health. It is collecting positive research outcomes for conditions like high blood sugar and high blood pressure. It can also act as an effective antiviral and antibacterial substance.

Chamomile Tea Benefits: Proven for Better Sleep, Good Health

chamomile tea benefitsChamomile flowers are a member of the daisy family, with their bright gold cones that shine in the center of white petals. There are many proven chamomile tea benefits for health.

With more than one million cups of chamomile tea consumed every day and supplements of chamomile capsules, liquid extracts, ointments, and essential oils in wide use, chamomile is one of the most highly used and research-proven medicinal plants.  It has been studied for use with insomnia, heart conditions, colds, inflammation, skin eczema, upset stomach, osteoporosis, anxiety, sore throat, wound healing and more.

Chamomile for Sleep and Insomnia

Chamomile has long been used as a natural sleep aid and insomnia remedy.  The powerful oils contained in its flowers provide a calming effect for sleeplessness, nervousness and anxiety.  In one study, heart patients were given chamomile tea and fell into a deep sleep.  From another study with animals that was done in Japan, calmness and relaxation were increased and the time needed to fall asleep was significantly reduced.  Another study showed that chamomile greatly reduces anxiety and increases well-being.

Stomach Conditions Helped by Chamomile

Chamomile is one of the main “go to” herbs for digestive disorders like upset stomach, ulcers, diarrhea and gas.  It helps to relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth muscles that make up the intestines.  In one journal study from Switzerland, the herbal combination of iberis (an herb in the cabbage family), peppermint and chamomile were shown to be effective in the treatment of stomach indigestion, irritation and inflammation.

Eczema and Skin Conditions

Inflammation of the skin is widely treated and remedied by topical chamomile preparations.  It has the ability to penetrate into the deeper layers of the skin and help with eczema and other skin inflammations.  In a European medical journal, a cream with chamomile extract was tested against a hydrocortisone cream.  After a 2-week treatment, the chamomile cream showed a mild superiority in effectiveness over hydrocortisone.

Osteoporosis, Bone Health and Chamomile

In the Journal of Agriculture and Food Chemistry, chamomile extract was studied for its ability to prevent the bone loss that can occur as people age.  Chamomile demonstrated the ability to help mineralize bone cells and showed an anti-estrogenic quality.  The researchers noted that this may be due to chamomile having a quality as a possible regulator of excess estrogen in the body.

Calcium and Chamomile – A Winning Duo

Calcium is also directly related to our good sleep. In one study, called “The Nutritional Relationships of Magnesium”, the author notes that the type of insomnia associated with a calcium deficiency causes difficulty with falling asleep.  This same study says that “Muscle cramps associated with a calcium deficiency often occur at night and without exertion.”

In another study published in the European Neurology Journal, researchers found that calcium levels in the body are higher during some of the deepest levels of sleep, such as the rapid eye movement (REM) phase when most dreaming occurs.  This study discovered that disturbances in sleep, especially the absence of REM deep sleep or disturbed REM sleep, are related to a calcium deficiency.

Best Minerals for Sleep: Calcium and Magnesium

One natural insomnia remedy showing good results is Sleep Minerals II from Nutrition Breakthroughs.  This sleep aid contains powerful forms of calcium and magnesium, the best known minerals for relaxation and sleep, as well as for restless leg syndrome, stomach health, teenage insomnia and menopause insomnia.  The ingredients include vitamin D and zinc and are formulated in a softgel with healthy oils, making them more quickly absorbable than tablets or capsules and providing a deeper, longer-lasting sleep.

Kimberly B. of Troy, Michigan says: “I have been taking Sleep Minerals II for about a month now. I have tried everything out there and this supplement is amazing. I have suffered with insomnia for 2 1/2 years. I have also had restless leg syndrome my entire life and this is the first relief I’ve ever had…gone for a month now.”

Richard P. of Parkville, Maryland says: “The Sleep Minerals are making quite a difference.  I was regularly waking up at around 3:00 a.m. and after a few days use my sleep improved quite a lot.  I wake up once a night to go to the bathroom, but the great thing is, I then fall back asleep and sleep several more hours.  This has been a great improvement.”

Summary for Chamomile and Calcium

Anyone who has a strong allergy to plants like daisies or ragweed (with its tiny green flowers) should start with a very small amount of chamomile, whether using it as a tea, supplement or skin ointment.  Most people can gain benefits from chamomile without any reactions.  It is one of nature’s most potent herbs and can help with calming insomnia, anxiety, muscle spasms, PMS, skin inflammations, stomach disorders, hemorrhoids, diarrhea, arthritis and more.

As a first line of defense against sleeplessness and insomnia, chamomile and calcium are good bets.  Coming from the worlds of herbal and mineral sleep aids, they are normally taken safely without addictive qualities or side effects.

This natural health news is provided by Nutrition Breakthroughs, a publisher of nutrition articles and supplier of effective natural remedies since 2001. Nutrition Breakthroughs makes Sleep Minerals II, the effective natural sleep aid with calcium, magnesium, zinc and vitamin D, and also Joints and More, the natural solution for joint relief, aches and pains, stronger hair and nails and more energy.

Why does chamomile make you sleepy?

Chamomile has long been used as a natural sleep aid and insomnia remedy. The powerful oils contained in its flowers provide a calming effect for sleeplessness, nervousness and anxiety.  In one study, heart patients were given chamomile tea and fell into a deep sleep.

What are the health benefits of chamomile?

Chamomile is one of the most highly used and research-proven medicinal plants.  It has been studied for use with insomnia, heart conditions, colds, inflammation, skin eczema, upset stomach, osteoporosis, anxiety, sore throat, wound healing and more.

Why is chamomile tea good for you?

Chamomile is one of the main “go to” herbs for digestive disorders like upset stomach, ulcers, diarrhea and gas. It helps to relax muscle contractions, particularly in the smooth muscles that make up the intestines. Chamomile also has the ability to help mineralize bone cells and strengthen bones.